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Michelin challenges students with new program

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A new program from Michelin North America Inc. will provide assistance to public elementary schools in communities where Michelin has facilities.

As part of the Michelin Challenge Education program, the employees at every major Michelin facility in South Carolina, as well as some outlying facilities, are adopting public schools in need. The facility managers will work directly with their respective local educators to determine the best use of the employees,  who will serve as mentors, tutors and volunteers.

“Michelin has long supported programs to improve the quality of education in the state of South Carolina and throughout the communities in North America where we maintain a presence,” says Dick Wilkerson, chairman and president of Michelin North America. “Michelin Challenge Education takes that commitment to the next level."

He adds that primary education "is the foundation for student success, and it affects all of us."

Michelin Challenge Education will focus on supporting public elementary schools. "Successful childhood educational programs reduce the need for being held back and special education while increasing graduation rates and providing better opportunities for employment and income," says the company. "The median income for a full-time worker with less than a high school education is more than 50% lower than that of a high school graduate."

For the last decade, South Carolina elementary school students have consistently scored below the national average in math, science, reading and writing scores, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s "state report card." South Carolina ranks 45th nationally, and lowest among its neighboring states, in education and workforce preparedness.

The state also maintains one of the nation’s highest dropout rates, the ninth highest poverty rate and the third highest unemployment rate at 12.1%.

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